The Darkest Hour | Flash fiction | Ama Udofa

They said the darkest hour comes right before dawn.

How fitting they called this place the Isle of Death’s Shadow. Not even the moisture dripping from gnarled branches of this cursed forest could quench the fire in his throat.

He shivered as he passed the poles displaying the disembodied heads of his fallen comrades, wincing each time he tried to picture the way each one died – infernal screaming from strangled throats and popped eyes.

The blue ambience of breaking dawn bled from among the trees and seeped through leaves in thin misty rays. He swatted the insect whining close to his ear.

“I will dice you into tiny pieces. Death’s Shadow shall cover your bones, and I will pelt destruction on your hide, that all may curse you! I am Theodoro, slayer of a thousand lions!”

His boasting did nothing to distract him from the fierce banging in his chest. He knew this journey was beyond insanity, but he trudged on anyway. His son’s safety was the prize to win if he could find and kill the mythical beast Twonkorwon, which stole two children from the village every six full moons. He turned swiftly as he heard movements and wet leaves slapped his face. The beast seemed not to mind him as it gnawed at a shapeless murky mass on the ground.

How could it be so laughably small?
He tightened his grip on his machete and stood feet apart, warrior stance.
“Ha-ha! Here I am, cursed one. Behold your doom!”

He didn’t see the other bigger beast, but he felt its powerful breath behind him right before the stab of pain, then rending, and snapping in the shrouded dawn accompanied with loud screams and a victorious growl.

About the writer 

Ama Udofa writes poetry, prose, and songs. He believes words are more expensive than the paper they are printed on. He also believes afang soup and ekpang nkukwo are life’s best gifts to mankind.

Maybe he should have become a badass writer by now, but a badass combination of village people, pressing phone and too much laziness is not allowing him to be great. Yet.

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